Few weeks after putting smile on the faces of the children, especially the students at J.F Clarke public school and its surroundings, with a newly established, furnished and books piled Reading Room in Gbarnga, Bong County, the Kids’ Educational Engagement Project, (KEEP) Liberia, has further dedicated and turnover another reading room to the administration of Goba town public school in Todee district, Montserrado County. With funding from OXFAM, the facility worth twenty five thousand, two hundred and thirty four United States dollar (US$25,234.00),
The dedication of the facility followed one month of renovation of the school annex to be used as reading room and leisure space for the children of Goba town and its surrounding communities. At the dedicatory program on Friday, September 3, 2021, the principal of Goba town public school, Mr. Taylor M. Kolee, Sr, lauded KEEP for directing its endeavors at the Goba town public school. Mr. Kolee continued that since the intervention of KEEP in the school, he has seen a clear and considerable level of improvement in the students and the education sector. “Your organization has brought gradual improvement in our children and even the education sector in Liberia.” He said. He assured KEEP of the school’s willingness to keep the attention of the children directed to the reading room. ‘Beginning this week, the administration of the school in partnership with the community will develop and sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will ensure the total protection of the facility.” Mr. Kolee said the reading room is a good opportunity which comes with responsibilities for both the parents and the administration, responsibilities which both of them must take.
For his part the Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) chairman, Mr. Johnny M. Teah, thanked KEEP for the level of engagement with the people of Goba town, especially women and children. He then called for a mutual working relationship amongst the community dwellers to protect the reading room. “Let us be our own security and ensure that the books are used for the purpose intended.” “This school and every other facility that comes with it are for us and we must be responsible for its safety and upkeep.” He cautioned his fellow inhabitants.
In his remarks, Mr. Albert J. Washington, the Administrative Assistant to the District Education Officer (DEO) of Todee district said education should be everyone’s business and as such it is important to support the children in whatever way possible. Mr. Washington described KEEP as “great partner”to the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the government of Liberia. He said that KEEP role over the years to the Ministry cannot be overemphasized. Mr. Washington further acknowledged that KEEP in time past had provided some livelihood capacity-building training involving women and girls. “The organization has demonstrated its zest to working with the government of Liberia to making our education system better.” He concluded.
Meanwhile in her dedicatory remarks, the Executive Director of Kids’ Educational Engagement Project, (KEEP) Liberia, Mrs. Brenda B. Moore, said the dedication of the room was part of several dedications her organization has made across the country, Liberia. Mrs. Moore said the investment in the reading room is because of her organization’s desire to address the difficulties faced by students in reading. She indicated that while it is a good idea to encourage children or students to read, it must equally be complemented by access to books and other reading materials so as to improve their reading skills. “Today we are dedicating the 24th reading room since we started this initiative.” “It is always an exciting moment for us because it takes us a lot to reach this far and we are grateful to out donor, OXFAM. All of these books you see were brought from the United States of America.” Mrs. Moore said
She further indicated that the facility has over 1,720 books with the seating capacity of 71 students while the renovation cost is valued at US$6,510.00.
She placed the responsibility on the parents and the administration to ensure the children use the facility for that which it was established. “When is a class schedule for reading, take the children in the library and let them use the books.’ She admonished the teachers. Mrs. Moore indicated that KEEP is involved with building the capacity of teachers and women as part of the activities which move along with the reading room. She said other benefits will come to the school and the community based on how they will utilize the reading room.
Meanwhile in her concluding statement Mrs. Moore acknowledged her team for cordial level of hard work and coordination.